According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, nearly 150 thousand tummy tucks were performed last year, making it the third most common procedure performed for women nationwide, after breast augmentation and liposuction.
“A common component of nearly every abdominoplasty is repair of the rectus diastasis, or the separation of the abdominal wall muscles in the midline. This is a common result of pregnancy or weight gain. Repair of this separation makes your abdomen flatter and draws in your waistline to gain a more hourglass, feminine shape.”, describes Dr. Horowitz.
Patients can check for themselves if they have a rectus diastasis by doing a “crunch” sit-up (meaning laying flat on your back and lifting only your head and shoulders off the ground ). While you’re doing the sit-up, if you notice a bulge in the midline or if you can fit more than two fingers in between the muscles, you would likely benefit from repair of the muscle separation.
In addition to the cosmetic benefits, bringing the rectus abdominus muscles closer together can make patients less susceptible to low back pain, improves posture and makes exercise easier and more effective.
“Beyond repair of the rectus diastasis, additional procedures performed during a abdominoplasty can vary widely according to the individual needs of the patient.”
The “classic” tummy tuck patient has a significant amount of excess skin beneath the belly button. In these patients, essentially all of the skin and fat below the belly button is removed, while keeping the incision line very low, so it’s covered by your underwear.
In some patients, the amount of skin is much less and some may not have any skin excess at all. These patients are well-served by a “mini” tummy tuck which removes very little or no skin at all. In doing so, the amount of scarring can be limited.
Liposuction completes the transformation
In addition to skin excess, many patients have fullness to the areas above the belly button, flanks, low back and the bra-line. Liposuction addresses these areas and is performed at the same time.
“By liposuctioning the flanks and back, the shape of the entire trunk is improved all the way around, 360 degrees, thus achieving a result that could not be obtained with an abdominoplasty alone.”
Massive Weight Loss Patients
“I recognize that patients who have lost a significant amount of weight, either through bariatric surgery or diet and exercise, represent a distinct subgroup that have unique concerns in regards to body contouring surgery.”
Typically, massive weight loss patients have a significant amount of inelastic skin associated with relatively little fat. Dr. Horowitz is well versed in the most modern variations of body contouring procedures tailored to the unique concerns of the massive weight loss patient.
A common modification of standard technique is the “Fleur-de-lis ” abdominoplasty, which eliminates loose skin from the upper and lower abdomen. This procedure is well suited to this subgroup of patients because it removes excess skin from the upper abdomen that would otherwise be left behind after a standard abdominoplasty.
“By individualizing our approach and addressing each patient’s unique concerns, the optimal result in body contouring surgery can be achieved”
For questions about this article you can email Dr. Horowitz at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeffrey Horowitz M.D. on Google+